Industrial Action Hardship Fund

This is the guidance for the Imperial College UCU Hardship Fund for members of UCU (updated 31/08/2023). 

Members can apply to the local hardship fund for strike pay for any day of strike action for which pay is deducted. Members can also apply for Action Short of Strike (ASOS) pay for any day of the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) for which 25% pay has been deducted.   There is a fixed rate of strike pay per day of strike action taken, and 25% of strike pay for every day of MAB deductions. At the date of this guidance, Imperial UCU is only in local dispute with Imperial College and all three Trade Unions at Imperial have a mandate for local industrial action (IA). Normally, members can also apply to the national UCU Fighting Fund for strike pay for strike days in any national dispute.  IA in UCU’s national dispute over USS pensions is suspended, so IA currently is only for the local dispute and our current understanding is that the National Fighting Fund is not supporting our local dispute (the guidance will be updated should this change).

  1. The aim of the Imperial College UCU Hardship Fund is to supplement payments from the national Fighting Fund. It will be used to support Imperial College UCU members taking industrial action in the local dispute over pay in the current mandate period (ending October 18th 2023).
  2. All claims must include your UCU membership number, which will be confirmed by the treasurer with national UCU.
  3. Members who are in arrears on their UCU membership fees (including where they are paying subscriptions at an incorrect rate) cannot claim from the hardship fund.
  4. The “current period’’ referred to above is the period for which industrial action is mandated which effectively began on 19th April 2023 and ends on 18th October 2023. The MAB period began on 17th May 2023.
  5. The Imperial College UCU Hardship Fund will support as many members as possible who take strike action in the current period and who apply for strike/ASOS pay.
  6. The rates of compensation are the same as for National UCU strike pay: a maximum daily compensation of £75 if your gross salary is below £30K p.a. and £50 otherwise. The ASOS pay rate is 25% of this (£18.75 or £12.50) The branch asks members to only claim from the hardship fund if necessary. This will allow us to help those most affected by the loss of pay. No evidence of hardship is required to make a claim.
  7. Claims from Imperial College staff on lower paid and insecure contracts will be given priority when necessary
  8. Members must apply for strike pay within 6 months of losing pay from their wages.
  9. Members must provide a copy of their payslip, showing the deduction of wages as a result of strike action. No claim will be considered unless a copy of their payslip (or other written evidence of deductions) is provided. For ASOS pay, members must provide evidence of the number of days for which the 25% deduction has been made by College. This can be an email from payroll/HR. Members who are not paid monthly and/or have no payslip and who have lost pay due to strike/MAB action may still be able to apply for strike/ASOS pay and should contact the Branch Treasurer for advice.
  10. No member may receive more than they have lost in deductions.
  11. Please email the UCU Imperial Branch Treasurer Fay Dowker ( to request an application form. Please submit the form, a scanned copy of your payslip, and other required documents to the Treasurer. All details on this form will be kept confidential by the Treasurer and the members of the Hardship Fund prioritisation panel. The details of all claims will be kept on record on a computer by the Treasurer for audit purposes.
  12. Claims will be approved by a panel of three Imperial College UCU Branch representatives, chaired by the Imperial College UCU Treasurer. The panel will prioritise claims should there be a need to do so. The panel will oversee all payments made from the Hardship Fund.
  13. Payments will be made by direct bank transfer, to the account of the UCU member making the claim.


Eligibility Criteria

  1. Be a current member of UCU and not in arrears on membership fees.
  2. Have taken part in strike action and/or ASOS in the local pay dispute (action period beginning in April 2023)
  3. Have been docked pay for participating in the strike and/or MAB action
  4. Completing the application form and supplying proof of loss of earnings, and number of days MAB deduction.


The panel will take into consideration the following information when prioritising claims:


  1. Type of contract
  2. Salary Band & Spinal Point
  3. Number of days claiming for